LEONARDTOWN, MD (August 7, 2023) – The St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD) is taking a proactive step in equipping community members with essential life-saving skills by offering American Red Cross adult and pediatric First Aid, CPR, and automated external defibrillator (AED) certification courses. As a certified American Red Cross training facility, SMCHD aims to meet OSHA-mandated job requirements and other regulatory necessities while fostering a safer and more prepared community.

The American Red Cross training course, carefully designed and taught by experts, provides crucial knowledge to respond effectively in emergencies. It caters to workplace requirements and extends its outreach to community members willing to acquire these vital skills. The course includes necessary student supplies and grants a valuable 2-year certification.

SMCHD offers two class formats to accommodate different learning preferences: in-person and blended learning (a combination of online and in-person training). This approach allows participants to choose the mode that suits them best, ensuring maximum convenience and accessibility.

The in-person format entails a comprehensive six-hour class conducted entirely in person. Alternatively, the blended format combines three hours of online training with a subsequent three-hour in-person session. The blended approach allows for flexibility without compromising the effectiveness of the training.

Dr. Meena Brewster, the St. Mary’s County Health Officer, highlighted the importance of these life-saving skills in various settings, stating, “These rescue skills save lives every day in work, home, and community settings. Anyone can get certified and become a part of our county’s first-line response to life emergencies. The classes will also be an important resource for healthcare, first responder, childcare, and recreation/fitness organizations needing to keep their workforce certified.”

While the invaluable training comes for $80 per person, the St. Mary’s County Health Department understands the financial challenges some community members may face. To make the certification accessible to all, the department has implemented a sliding scale fee option for those unable to afford the full amount. Payment for the chosen class format will be required during the in-person skills classes, and participants can make payments through cash, check, or credit card.

However, due to the limitation of class capacity, with a maximum of 16 participants per class, registration will follow on a first-come, first-served basis. Interested individuals are encouraged to secure their spots promptly to ensure their participation in these life-saving courses.

The first in-person training session is scheduled for August 29, 2023, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the SMCHD main office in Leonardtown. On the other hand, the blended-format training will hold its in-person skills class on August 28, 2023, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the exact location. Before attending the in-person skills class, participants in the blended format must complete all assigned online training.

For those interested in registering or seeking additional information, the St. Mary’s County Health Department has set up a dedicated website at smchd.org/cpr. This website is a comprehensive resource hub, providing details about the courses, schedules, registration, and other essential information.

The importance of being prepared cannot be overstated in a world where emergencies can occur at any time and place. The St. Mary’s County Health Department’s initiative to offer life-saving training to community members is a testament to their commitment to public safety and well-being. By empowering individuals with the knowledge and skills to respond confidently in critical situations, SMCHD takes a proactive approach to building a stronger and more resilient community, one certification at a time.

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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